Tiger trio competes in Panhandle All-Star game

Cory Griffith
Posted 5/29/24

Two graduates on the Niobrara County High School basketball team returned to the court with coach Ed Fullmer for the Panhandle all-star game.

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Tiger trio competes in Panhandle All-Star game


SCOTTSBLUFF – Niobrara County High School (NCHS) head boys basketball coach Ed Fullmer got to coach one more game with recent graduates Cory Bruegger and Aidan Mattheus. All three were selected to participate in the Panhandle Prep Sports Magazine all-star game at Scottsbluff High School last Friday night.

“I told the kids that you’re all pretty darn good players, so don’t try to do anything different than what you’ve been doing the last four years,” said Fullmer. “What a great group of kids to work with, and when it got close they made some plays to get the win.”

The red squad (wearing white uniforms) got off to a fast start with a 32-15 first-quarter lead. Bruegger upped it to 41-17 with a short jumper and moments later Mattheus got in the book with a pair of free throws. 

It was 49-31 at the halftime break with the red team in firm control.

Defense is optional in exhibition games, but the blue team shook off a dreadful first half of shooting to mostly erase a 22-point deficit. Mattheus had a driving layup and followed it with a three pointer 20 seconds later, but suddenly the edge was just ten points after three periods.

After making just one trey in the first half, they got hot with eight in second half. Several times in the final four minutes, the red team’s lead had dwindled to just three points. 

Bruegger had a late steal and scored the red team’s final basket as coaches Fullmer and longtime mentor and friend Steve Zimmerman enjoyed the 91-87 victory.

“It was great to play with Aidan and for coach Fullmer one more time, and it was fun meeting all the guys,” said Bruegger. “Yeah, we had to get down and play defense near the end but we held on.”

“What a great experience to cap off my senior year and get to play in this game,” said Mattheus. “I met some really great players and was happy to be included in that conversation.”

In a side note, a pair of former Lady Tigers had children participate in the weekend’s events. Lisa Ellis of Bridgeport (NCHS Class of 1989) watched daughter Kolby Lussetto and Sally Powers of Wheatland (NCHS Class of 1996) watched daughter Lily Nichols along with their